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Offenders: Deportation

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals who have been convicted of a crime in the UK are awaiting deportation. (232384)

Case law and existing policy means that the UK Border Agency are only able to give consideration as to whether a foreign national who has committed a crime within the United Kingdom should be subject to deportation action until 12 months before the end of an individual’s sentence, except when their sentence length is shorter. As such the information requested is not available as it is not possible to provide an indication as to the eventual outcome of the case for a foreign prisoner who is currently serving their sentence.

The chief executive of the UK Border Agency has regularly written to the Home Affairs Committee with the most robust and accurate information available. Copies of her letters are available in the Library of the House.

Having exceeded the Prime Minister's target of 4,000 deportations or removals of foreign prisoners in 2007, the Agency has now been set an even tougher target and aims to remove or deport more than 5,000 foreign prisoners in 2008. In the first six months of this year, the Agency had deported or removed nearly 2,500 which is a record performance, 22 per cent. higher than for the same period in 2007 and nearly 140 per cent. higher than in 2006.